Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lou Gehrig's Disease

Today I got a text message from my sister Leslie telling me that my dad was going to the doctor to check out his nose. It might be broken because he fell yesterday and knocked his face really hard. He got a cut and maybe his nose is bumped pretty bad. .
My dad has actually been going to the doctor a lot over the past few months, and has recently been diagnosed with ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease."
I love this picture here. We took it this summer the last time I was hanging out with my dad in Alamogordo, NM before my brother and his family shipped out to England. It was a wonderful time, we were all together. I'm not sure what my dad was laughing at here, but I love the joyful look on his face.
This was in July, and though my dad wasn't feeling 100% we had no idea that anything serious was going on inside. For the last several years, he's felt increasingly run down and low on energy. But, besides that, he was still operating fairly normally. Last year he drove around working for the census; cruising northern New Mexico in his truck, knocking on doors and taking surveys.
When my brother left in November, he had told me that our dad seemed to be talking more slowly. But, despite a slightly slower drawl, I was still having perfectly normal conversations with him on the phone. Even at Christmas time, my conversations with him were normal, though he was beginning to sense something going on with his throat and vocal chords and stuff.
We took this picture at White Sands this past July.
And we went out towards Cloudcroft and had a hilariously chaotic campfire. There were so many of our little ones around it was madness!

Today, my dad is experiencing lots of muscular deterioration and he is barely able to speak. I don't know exactly why the ALS messes with the throat and vocal chords, but it seems to be a pretty common symptom. We talk on the phone a little bit, but unfortunately it is hard to understand him; which is very sad for all of us.
Leslie and her husband Brad are living in Santa Fe, which is really cool. They are able to hang out with my mom and dad which is wonderful.
We are praying that the symptoms would be alleviated -I pray especially for my dad's ability to talk. Please join us in praying for his condition, and for my mom as she takes care of him during this time.

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